LA City Planning Department response to request for extension

October 28, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 1 Comment

On Wednesday October 21st, we were notified by Jane Blumenfeld from the LA City Planning Department via e-mail responding to the request by all bicycling advocates and activists to extend the timeline for comments on the bike plan from November until January 8th.  The e-mail excerpt below is to be considered an “official e-mail” from the Planning Department in response to the deadline extension requests.

We would prefer a more specific deadline, but this is the response that we’ve gotten so far. We consider this response an acknowledgment of the deadline being in January and hold the city accountable to this extension, even though there is no specific date.

From Jane Blumenfeld

“We are trying very hard to accommodate people who want to provide constructive comments to make the bike plan as good a plan as possible.  The way the process works is that we will hold a public hearing in January to receive public input about the plan. Following the public hearing our staff will prepare a staff report and recommendations, which will address the input received from now until that time.  The City Planning Commission will then consider the report and recommendations and make recommendations to the Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee and Transportation Committee.  The Committees will similarly make recommendations to the full City Council, which will constitute the final action on the Bike Plan.  All hearings are, of course, public hearings and input will be accepted prior to all of them.

So, I cannot give you a “deadline” right now because we have yet to finalize the logistics of the January public hearing.  To reiterate, we will take all input up until the hearing; there will be several more months in which people can provide input beyond that public hearing as well.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Jane Blumenfeld
Acting Deputy Director
Los Angeles Department of City Planning”

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  1. This is true… but not necessarily all that clear. Here’s my re-telling of the story that I heard at yesterday’s Bicycle Advisory Committee from City Planning’s (DCP) Helene Bibas. It was a public meeting, so I think it’s good to have this information out in the public realm:

    DCP will be preparing a new document – a “formal” draft document which will be released at least 30 days before a DCP hearing, which they expect will take place in mid-January. DCP expects to make extensive changes to the plan before that – based on the public input that they’re receiving at meetings and via comments submitted.

    When questioned, Bibas stated that the formal draft will change the word “proposed” to “designated” for bike facilities (lanes, paths, routes, bike-friendly streets) in the document.

    Bibas stated that the formal draft will include environmental documentation – expected to be an MND (mitigated negative declaration – basically, in non-legal terms, a formal statement saying that it’s ok for them to do the plan without an EIR – environmental impact review – because there are no major environmental impacts). That formal draft is expected in early-December. Once the formal draft is released, they’ll be making changes sparingly (they track them by striking, underlining, etc.)… but they’ll also be formally responding to all comments at that point – creating a full public record.

    So… there will be continued public comment through and at the January hearing, at the subsequent Planning Commission hearing, at Planning (PLUM) and Transportation Committee hearings, and at the full council meeting. If these entities approve the plan, though, it becomes a little more difficult to change, because then non-trivial changes can mean having to send it back to an earlier body for re-approval.

    I expect that if folks want to get comments in that are likely to substantially alter the plan, they should probably be submitted by the first week in December – so it can potentially be included in the December “formal” draft.

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